Jewish agricultural colonization in Brazil began in 1904 in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, supported by the Jewish Colonization Association (JCA). The JCA created the first colonies – Philippson (1904) and Quatro Irmãos (1912) – with the intention of resettling Russian Jews during the decisive years of mass immigration from the Russian empire. In 1936, the JCA administration in Brazil proposed a new project to establish a colony for German Jews in Rezende, situated in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Similar to other initiatives undertaken by the São Paulo and Paraná state governments some years before, the Rezende colony did not last long. This essay analyzes the main factors behind the disintegration of the JCA colonies, noting that, in spite of their relative failure, the colonies aided Brazil and helped change the stereotypical image of the non-productive Jew, capable of working only in commerce and finance. The main benefit from these agricultural experiments was the removal of restrictions in Brazil on Jewish immigration from Europe during the twentieth century.
KeywordsJewish Community Immigration Policy Jewish History Brazilian Government Jewish Immigrant
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